Here's an interesting Q&A with Dr. Paul Woods, head of worldwide promotional regulatory affairs department for AstraZeneca, U.K., about the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers' Association's pharma marketing code. A snip:
The IFPMA code allows for promotional aids to be given as gifts like pens, sticky pads and small medical related gifts. It stipulates that those gifts must be related to the practice of medicine or pharmacy. It must also be something, which is acceptable and used in the doctor's professional practice and of minimal value. Pharma companies cannot give gifts for the personal benefit of a doctor. The new IFPMA code brings in a new category of gift, which has not been separated out before and that is cultural gifts. There are low value gifts that can be given during religious festivals. It would be seen rude or against the culture of that country for companies not to do that.